Have you ever felt your feet come off the pedals while you’re jumping? Scary, right? This October, scary should be left for ghosts and goblins, not jumping your mountain bike. Here are the 5 key components to keeping your feet on the pedals and keeping your heart from racing.
The most common reason we see feet coming off the pedals is because the rider’s body is coming up faster than their bike, or the body is too stiff and ends up pushing the bike away from the body. When jumping, you have to allow the bike to travel upwards towards your body by bending your arms and legs and drawing the bike up towards you. This requires you to be relaxed, not tense.
*ATTENTION CLIPLESS RIDERS! People who ride clipped in to their pedals are often unaware that they’re relying on that clipped connection to bring the bike up in the air them them. It’s important that all riders, with both clipless and flat pedals, learn proper jumping technique for scalable success.
Maintain contact with your pedals by creating tension between your pedals and handlebars. This is achieved by pointing your toes down slightly and dragging backwards on the pedals (but not too hard, just a little should do it!)
Timing is everything. Compress down into your bike right before you begin the transition up the face of the jump. Practice perfecting this timing with a level lift. A level lift is when you bring both wheels off the ground at the same time (as opposed to just a front or rear wheel lift). Practice a level lift in a flat or slightly descending area. STOMP down on your pedals (compression) and allow both wheels and the bike to come up under you. They should come up evenly, hence the name “level” lift.
If your suspension isn’t set up correctly, it will make it more difficult to perfect the timing of the compression. Head over to Suspension Setup in 4 Easy Steps to get yours dialed.
4. Foot Placement (flat pedals)
You should place your foot on the pedal so that the axle of the pedal sits just behind the ball of your foot. This differs to how you would place your foot with clipless pedals and will help to prevent you from springing up and off of the pedals if you extend your foot downwards.
Good shoes and pedals are vital for maintaining contact with your bike. Purpose built bike shoes work far better than any kind of tennis or skate shoe and mountain bike-specific flat pedals (not the $10 plastic platform pedals) are a MUST for jumping. Good shoes and pedals are specifically designed to help everything stick together, when combined with proper technique.
Don’t forget, Ninja is here to help take the fear out of flight! Join us for a Jumping Mini Clinic for direct, real-time feedback from a certified instructor on how to break bad jumping habits, keep those feet on the pedals and soar with confidence.
G2 Bike looks forward to many more of these clinics in this area.
Ninja Mountain Bike Skills is a warm and friendly environment to learn new skills and hone ones you already know....
Ninja Mountain Bike Skills is a warm and friendly environment to learn new skills and hone ones you already know. It's a non intimidating environment where mistakes are welcomed so corrections can be made. I own G2 Bike is Aliso Viejo and this clinic has been ran out of the Aliso Woods area and when I interviewed the clients they had all but great things to say. None arrogant instructors and easy to follow steps. The biggest bang for many was meeting new area riders at their skill level, gaining confidence, and getting the bike set up and fit properly. G2 Bike looks forward to many more of these clinics in this area. Thanks Richard for all you do for the MTB community! ~ AJ S.
I’m so glad I made the decision to be part of the Mulberry Gap 3-day clinic.
I'm so glad I made the decision to be part of the Mulberry Gap 3-day clinic. Richard and Randy are...
I'm so glad I made the decision to be part of the Mulberry Gap 3-day clinic. Richard and Randy are really skilled at breaking things down, very patient and kind. They were very attentive to what each of us needed individually while maintaining a no-pressure, fun vibe. The place is beautiful, rustic and offers a great opportunity to unplug. It's the seemingly little things that make a big difference in your riding, and I feel like I gained some useful insight about not only being on the bike, but set-up and nutrition as well. ~Susan Tully
Highly recommended! Essential riding skills are thoroughly broken down making them easy to understand and learn. Coach Richard and Kris...
Highly recommended! Essential riding skills are thoroughly broken down making them easy to understand and learn. Coach Richard and Kris are some of the most professional and pleasant coaches/cyclist/people I have come across. Looking forward to one of their future clinics. ~ Tom T.
We are a group of passionate, dirt-loving, community oriented, world class mountain bike skills instructors committed to helping you reach your personal riding goals through clinics and camps. We are excited to work with riders of all ability levels and share the joy (STOKE) of mountain biking.